This winter I’ve been dreaming of elderflower champagne. It’s fun, and fizzy, and it reminds me of summer. It’s one of my favourite things.
Elderflowers and elderberries are great for making interesting and delicious beverages that sit at the intersection between drinks and European herbalism.
Beetroot is in season pretty much all year round in the Waikato. I love the amazing purple colour of beets, which some people unkindly call “lurid”. I love that beets can be used both cooked and raw.
And it’s such a thrifty plant. You can make two different vegetable courses out of one bunch of beets.
But, beetroot isn’t “fast food”.
You have to think ahead, to get the best out of beets.
As regular readers will know, I love strange and unusual fruit. This week I’m in love with casimiroas. Casimiroa edulis, also known as white sapote, is oval and green, about the size and shape of an avocado. It doesn’t look anything special – but the flavour is amazing.
Tomatillos are very popular in Mexican cuisine, but they’re not common in New Zealand. So I was happy to find Harvey Till of Vegetills selling tomatillos on Sunday at the farmers’ market.
This post is about organics and the local food economy.
It’s a timely topic because the Organic Products Bill is currently going through Parliament. Submissions are open until 28 May.
If you care about organics and food quality, I suggest you send in a submission.
It’s a great time of year for avocados. Some of my friends are feasting on boxes of avocados from the Bay of Plenty. Others have trees laden with big green fruit.
Avocados thrive in many parts of the Waikato.
This is the story behind my new book, Meet your greens: Enliven your salads with herbal energetics. It’s about how to make amazing salads, but it’s also about a lot more than that.
Meet Your Greens comes out of my lifelong interest in the different flavours of salad greens.
This is a post about where to buy local food in the Waikato during the national Covid Level 4 lockdown. The farmers’ markets have been closed.
I’m keen to ensure people who want to support the local food economy can do this. So the producers can sell their produce. And so we can eat fresh local food.
When times are stressful, that’s exactly when we need to be eating well. Everyone will have different ideas of what comfort food means.
Whatever this is, I hope you’re able to eat some of the food that brings you home to yourself and helps you feel grounded.
Here are my five of my top comfort foods.
I think eggplants are the most elegant of all vegetables.
These beautiful shiny purple vegetables/fruit, which are also often called aubergines, star in some of my favourite recipes.
I’ve been making superb plum jellies and gummies with my seasonal abundance of backyard plums.
There are plums galore at the farmers’ markets at this time of year.
My two favourite milk cultures are kefir and Caspian Sea yoghurt. I’ve been making both regularly for about ten years. They are easy to make and almost foolproof.
I’ve been appreciating cabbages recently – raw, cooked and sauerkraut. Richard Cato has been selling superb savoy cabbages at the local farmers’ markets. And also at the market, there’s Marea Smith’s delicious GoodBugs sauerkraut.
I have a favourite plant family. Apiaceae or Umbelliferae – both names are commonly used.
So many plants I love to grow and eat belong to this family.
I’ve just come home with a bag of superbly ripe mandarins. And they were free! Foraging isn’t a normal thing in New Zealand. We think of food as something we buy, if we haven’t grown it ourselves.